Also known as “River City,” Jacksonville has been a melting pot of cultures, languages, and races since 1564 when one of the earliest settlements in North America was founded. Travelers to the city never run out of things to do: from the excellent art museums and galleries to the gorgeous beaches, Jacksonville will keep you busy. Art and history are clearly visible in Jacksonville’s “Art in Public Places” program, which enjoys public support through the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville. Jacksonville’s public support for the arts isn’t surprising when you visit the beautiful private homes of its residents.
The booming population, as well as the growing economy of this city–and its relatively low cost of living–make Jacksonville one of the strongest real estate markets today. The demand for award-winning contractors is high. We present this list of the most experienced, skilled, and award-winning contractors in the area. Many of the firms have been featured in trade publications, as they are behind some of the most gorgeous homes in the state, and arguably the nation.
15) Generation Homes
Website |904.955.4769|5860 US Hwy 1 N St Augustine, FL 32095
For over 20 years, Generation Homes has renovated and built fine custom homes in the neighborhoods of St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra, and the Intracoastal areas. The company’s president and founder, Cora Johnston, enjoys an authoritative homebuilding reputation outside the firm as well. She popularized what the firm is best known for building: the Moderately Coastal Homestyle and the GrowHOMES concept. GrowHOMES are pre-planned designs that take into consideration future additions and remodels: the idea that the home can ‘grow’ as the family grows. She also appeared in the National Association of Home Builders’ Professional Women in Building Week for her expertise and dedication to client satisfaction.
The firm’s vice-president for operations, Stuart McDonald, meanwhile, is a founding member for both MySafeFlorida–a standard guide in creating hurricane-resistant houses–and the EcoHome Magazine. Not surprisingly, Generation Homes is proud to be a member of the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) and the Green Built Homes of Florida.
The firm’s homes are often airy, coastal homes with a welcoming neutral or pastel palette. The homes have large, open spaces for the ocean breezes, and thus offer sweeping views of the sea. You can find some of the firm’s works in St. Augustine Beach, along with Anastasia Island, Davis Shores, and Crescent Beach, South of St. Augustine, North Daytona, Ponte Vedra Beach, and within the quaint community of Vilano Beach. In April 2018, Generation Homes received the Parade of Homes Gold Award for their work’s characteristic craftsmanship, design, and detail. The competition, organized by the Northeast Florida Builders Association, is between 91 homes in 65 neighborhoods with the viewing public serving as the judges.
14) Dean Russell Custom Homes
Website |904.241.3334 | 364 Osceola Ave. Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250
Dean Russell Custom Homes, in Jacksonville, boasts both quality building and a rewarding customer experience. Dean Russell established the firm in 1976 and since that time he has received multiple constructions and showcase awards. Those awards include the Design Show Homes and the Parade of Homes, and the company won the annual home building showcase an impressive seven times. The firm’s success strongly depends on the strength of their staff and teamwork. Dean Russell’s construction staff has a collective experience of over 200 years, and that experience informs their thorough, hands-on approach. The result? Luxurious carefully-crafted builds.
Russell says, “we emphasize the power of teamwork. Our hands-on team consists of the business owner, our project managers, and superintendents, as well as our handpicked subcontractors. We will work with you directly every step of the way.”
The firm usually works in the prestigious neighborhoods of Northeast Florida: Marsh Landing, Sawgrass, Queen’s Harbor, Palencia, The King & Bear, and Ponte Vedra Boulevard. Their remodeling work, while not the focus of this list, is a testament of their attention to detail. The Northeast Florida Builders Association (NEFBA) has awarded the firm with various Remodeler’s Awards including one for Best Outdoor Living Addition, Best Kitchen Addition and Remodel, and Best Whole-House Remodel for $250,000 and $500,000. The Florida Homebuyer Magazine named the firm as a runner-up for the First Coast Remodelers Awards. Dean Russell Custom Homes is accredited by the Better Bureau Business, NEFBA, National Association of Home Builders, and a member of the NEFBA Master Remodeler’s Council.
13) Dantzler Group
Website | 904.783.1010 | 5465 Verna Blvd. Jacksonville, FL 32205
Listed at the top of the Jacksonville Business Journal’s List of Home Remodelers in 2013, Dantzler Group has made a name in the construction and renovation industry of Northeast Florida. They are a family-owned business that has been serving the Northeast Florida area since 1989. The company’s specialties lie in the renovation and construction of single-family residences and multi-family properties within the area. They pride themselves not only on the quality of their work but on the quality and expertise of their employees. Their excellent staff enables them to produce beautiful results their clients love.
The company is a proud member of the Florida Green Building Coalition and the Northeast Florida Safety Council Housing and Neighborhood Department. In addition to constructing and renovating residential homes, they provide special construction for waterfront properties to ensure clients have a beautiful home that will also withstand the harsh environmental conditions of the area.
12) Horn Builders
Website| 904.242.2600 | 11215 St. Johns Industrial Parkway North Unit #7 Jacksonville, FL 32246
Founded in 1999, Horn Builders branded itself as a green builder long before building green became a trend. Chuck Horn, their founder, is a certified green professional from the National Association of Home Builders and is also a part of the Florida Green Builder Association. Their homes are LEED certified: energy efficient windows and doors, more insulation than required, and correct sealing of doors and windows.
Horn’s team works on remodeling projects too and they have even invented a strategy for green renovating. After coming across several home projects that became more expensive due to design complications, they joined in the collective effort to come up with the world’s first movable wall system, a brilliant solution that allows clients to move walls according to pre-designed setups as their family grows.
11) Lendry Homes
Website | 904.992.2100 | 4745 Sutton Park Ct. Bldg 500 Suite 503, Jacksonville, FL 32224
Lendry Homes has more than 30 years of experience in the industry, and in 2013, they were named as one of the top 5 companies in Jacksonville Business Journal’s List of Home Remodelers. Bryan Lendry, the team leader at Lendry Homes, has received multiple honors for home building and service achievements. Among these are the Northeast Florida Builders Association’s Builder of the Year award, two Best in American Living awards, and numerous awards from Excel, Laurel, and First Coast Remodeler for architectural design and home renovation excellence. The company makes it clear that not only do they want to build quality luxury homes, they also want to exceed the expectations of their customers.
The company focuses on coastal communities from Amelia Island to Ponte Vedra Beach. In their many years in the business, they have built some of the most celebrated homes in Northeast Florida.
10) House and Home
Website | 904.838.7777 | 183 Landrum Lane, Suite 104. Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082
House and Home is a custom home builder that specializes in constructing coastal and waterfront luxury homes and estates. Established in 2003, owners Carey and Tammy Elam have earned a reputation for producing high-quality and innovative luxury homes in Ponte Vedra Beach. The company’s mission is to achieve their client’s vision, which is why they are not wed to any particular architectural style. They take on different architectural styles with the help of a well-experienced design team and general contractor. With their many years of experience in the industry, House & Home has built impeccable homes that exceed their customer’s expectations. These successful efforts are made possible by the team’s meticulous craftsmanship and commitment to their customers.
The company’s works have been featured in National Builder Magazine. As a client-driven firm, they work hard to create spaces that perfectly reflect their customer’s lifestyle, preference, and personality. From the planning and designing to the construction process, the company strives to achieve their customer’s vision up to the smallest detail.
9) Browdy & Browdy Homes
Website |904.739.5195|6944 Saint Augustine Rd # D, Jacksonville, FL 32217-8826
Browdy & Browdy Homes is a general contracting firm offering new home construction and remodels in various styles in Jacksonville. Since its founding in 1975, the firm has employed skilled craftsmen, trade persons, and artisans. Their shrewd subcontractor vetting resulted in years of celebrated prestige and quality works. Browdy’s works have earned citations and glowing reviews from major design publications such as Home + Garden Orlando, Qualified Remodeler, First Coast, Modern Home Builders Magazine, Modern Marvels, and Florida Design.
Browdy & Browdy offers custom home construction in the styles of French Colonial, French Country, shingle-style Hamptons, and classic Americana. The firm worked on a Colonial Coastal estate in Ponte Vedra Beach, Cape Cod Waterfront and Tuscan Riverfront in Jacksonville. The firm also did interior renovation for a modern home in Sims Cove and sustainable additions for others. The firm earned an American Institute of Architects Workmanship Award Builder of the Year award and an Aurora Awards from the Southeast Building Conference.
8) Dream Finders Luxury Homes by Marcus Meide
Website | 904.738.0165 | 14701 Philips Hwy Jacksonville, FL 32256
Dream Finders Luxury Homes by Marcus Meide is the brainchild of Patrick Zalupski. After the success of the Dream Finders, a national homebuilder mostly dedicated to real estate, CEO and owner Zalupski decided to expand his horizons and create a new division in his company dedicated solely to creating high end and customized homes at great prices. He partnered with a leading northeast Florida home builder, Marcus Meide, and the rest, as they say, is history.
DF Luxury Homes specialize in building on personal lots. Clients who already have a specific lot in mind for their new home can run the idea by the team so that a visit to the lot can be arranged. Their team generally can build in almost any area, but they like to be sure that the infrastructure is in place in a given area to ensure the best delivery of services.
7) Benchmark Custom Luxury Homes
Website | 904.280.8777 | 1525B The Greens Way Suite 201 Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250
Benchmark Custom Luxury Homes brands itself as a firm that “builds to your style:” their work has ranged from the Mediterranean to contemporary, modern to traditional, and from Southwestern to Asian. They have been hailed by the Jacksonville Business Journal for two straight years (2010 and 2011, respectively) as the leading custom home builder in the area. They have also won a Pacesetter Award and have been featured in magazines such as Building Edge and Custom Home. Rich and Nancy Morrison, owners, have been working since 1975 and like limiting their projects to the local area. They want to ensure that they can directly supervise and manage whatever project they have on their hands.
Benchmark relies on the very best and latest technology, from construction, design, planning, even scheduling. Clients use a customized software program that gives them a fast way to change orders. They can also access a clients-only section on the company’s website which allows them to view scheduling information and a graphic journal containing the phases of their home’s construction.
6) Shawn Starr
Website |904.612-6946 |4330 Springmoor Dr. E, Jacksonville, FL 32225
Shawn Starr, the founder, earned his MBA degree at Jacksonville University and worked with the Standard Pacific Homes as contractor and vice-president for purchasing before forming his own construction firm in 2009. His new company consistently earned top rankings in the Jacksonville Home Builder: in the years 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. They even won a remodeling award from Northeast Florida Builder’s Association in 2011. In addition to construction awards, the firm also received two Laurel Awards in 2013 and 2011 for their marketing practices.
Shawn Starr offers a set of pre-made designs – called DreamDesign – which can be altered in any way the client sees fit. These designs simply reflect the firm’s ‘Benchmark Features’ which are hallmarks of their builds. The company says, “partnering with us means you have the freedom to build your home, your way. We design every home from scratch – making sure it’s everything you’ve ever wanted in a home of your own.”
In Hidden Hills–a high-end gated community between downtown Jacksonville and the beaches–the firm built their model home which also doubles as their office. The firm has completed homes in The Sanctuary–the only gated community in Jacksonville Beach–and in Avalon. Their work appeared in Jacksonville Magazine’s Home, Jacksonville Business Journal, Florida Homebuyer in multiple issues, and Realty-Builder Connection. Notably, Jacksonville Magazine named the firm’s DreamDesign4 as Home of the Year in 2012.
5) Cottage Home Company
Website |904.770.5060| 610 Market Street, St. Augustine FL 32095
Husband and wife Bill and Liz Petkoski started Cottage Home Company on the basis of a real passion for good design. The company’s disposition was simple and grounded in genuine home living experience. Bill says, “the goal was neither to be the biggest builder nor to brag about how many closings they had per year. Instead, the goal was really simple – create beautiful, inspiring places for families to live, places we could be proud to say we built.”
Cottage Home Company builds spaces where casual meets elegance. Their work is characterized by airy and open spaces, and combining those spaces with rustic finishes and a neutral color palette. The Petkoski’s own home in St. Augustine – which they built and carries the firm’s signature style – has appeared in Jacksonville Magazine. Cottage Home Company has built several model homes in Palencia, Pablo Creek Reserve, Marsh Landing, and Markland. In addition to custom home construction, they also offer home additions, home remodeling, and green building. Cottage Homes primarily builds in the areas of Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra, St. Augustine, Villano Beach, and Atlantic Beach.
4) Collier Classic Homes
Website | 904.273.6776 | Ponta Vedra Beach, FL 32004
Dually owned and equally led by its owners Elwood and Donna Collier, Collier Classic Homes has been fascinating people with their magnificent work, often accented with Mediterranean or Tuscan themes, for over four decades now. Established in 1973, Collier Classic Homes has been regarded for the utmost quality of their designs and construction. Twenty of their homes have received top honors since their first entry to the Northeast Florida Builders Association’s Parade of Homes back in 1982. They are also two-time recipients of the prestigious Aurora Award given by the Home Builders Association, in the ‘Best New Home in the Southeastern United States’ category.
The Colliers are proud that around 30 percent of their client list is comprised of repeat customers. They attribute that loyalty to their close attention to detail and the amount of personalization they devote to each individual client. They rely on the most talented craftsmen and use the best quality materials from the US and around the world. They also limit the number of clients they take on to make sure that each project receives their full attention.
3) Aurora Builders
Website | 904.246.5400 | 2902 Isabella Blvd., Suite 20 Jacksonville Beach, Florida 32250
Aurora Builders is recognized as one of the leading home builders in Northeast Florida. For their great designs, the company was a multiple award recipient at the First Coast Remodelers Awards from 2009 to 2016, which is sponsored by the Northeast Florida Builders Association (NEFBA). They are also a three-time winner of the Aurora Award, sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) at the Southeast Builders Conference (SEBC). They focus on constructing high-performance homes which address the comfort and durability of the home as well as its energy efficiency. They apply the best practices available using the latest technology in home building. Michael Lenahan, the owner of Aurora Builders, graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture Degree as well as a Masters in Architecture. He is also a Certified Green Professional and a Certified Aging in Place Specialist. His background in architecture and construction guides clients through the early stages of home planning and design.
The company employs sustainable green building design in their projects in order to maximize energy efficiency in each of their projects. They make a conscious effort to protect the environment and the health of the homeowners themselves. They are also experts in universal design and aging in place accommodations which guarantee their clients a home design that is built to last and specifically customized to their safety needs.
2) Heritage Homes
Website | 904.635.2087 | 2451 3rd St. South Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250
Scott Ulm had already graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in building construction. As a licensed general contractor since 1987, he had worked his way through the construction industry and discovered his passion for building and constructing new homes for residential clients. In 1992, Scott Ulm established Heritage Homes of Jacksonville.
Throughout the years, Scott ’s company has built a solid reputation for being one of Jacksonville’s premier luxury home builders. The company has been named one of the top 10 Jacksonville remodeling companies, and one of the top 10 custom home builders by Jacksonville Business Journal. The firm was also listed in the Luxury Homebuilder’s section of Jacksonville Business Journal in 2017. With their dedication to fulfilling functional design needs, they are able to provide customers with beautiful and long-lasting results.
Their carefully-crafted projects integrate interior design and architecture in one. Using premium quality materials and high-end finishes–while keeping their client’s budget in mind–they are able to produce cost-saving design solutions and luxurious designs for their clients. They put a premium on accomplishing what their clients envisioned without blowing their customer’s budget. With decades of design experience in the industry, Heritage Homes makes sure that their designs are perfectly tailored to suit their client’s needs and preferences. They do this by using the latest technology available in plan design so that customers get a better view of their custom-designed home before it is built.
1) Morales Construction Company
Website | 904.296.9559| 6950 Philips Highway, Suite 15 Jacksonville, FL 32216
Regarded as one of Northeast Florida’s most respected general contractors, the Morales Construction Company has been providing quality services in Jacksonville since its establishment in 1978. It has been hailed by the Jacksonville Business Journal as one of the 25 fastest growing companies and “Number 1 Custom Home Builder” in the First Coast Area. Originally founded by Ricardo Morales, Jr., the Morales Construction Company works on both residential and commercial projects. They also provide real estate services through Morgar Realty. They have also taken on restoration projects, and they were recognized by the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission with the Historic Preservation Award for their work on 3600 Richmond Street, Jacksonville, FL. That house– situated along the banks of the St. Johns River– is on one of the most beautiful streets in the Deep South. They were also awarded the 2007 Craftsmanship Award by the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
Their work can be found in several places: from Ponte Vedra and the Beaches all the way to Avondale and Mandarin. The firm forges long-lasting relationships with clients; they work closely with them in the all-important design phase–prior to construction–for the very best understanding and determination of their needs. The price tags on their projects usually range from $500k all the way to $9 million, with the firm always meeting the expected time of completion and staying within the discussed budget.
Currently, the firm is led by Ricardo Morales III, who has been serving as company president since 1987, just three years after the Morales Group’s incorporation.